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Aims: Pulmonary congestion is an important finding in patients with heart failure (HF) that can be quantified by lung ultrasound (LUS). We conducted a systematic review to describe dynamic changes in LUS findings of pulmonary congestion (B-lines) in HF and to examine the prognostic utility of B-lines in HF. Methods and results: We searched online databases for studies conducted in patients with chronic or acute HF that used LUS to assess dynamic changes or the prognostic value of pulmonary congestion. We included studies in adult populations, published in English, and conducted in ≥25 patients. Of 1327 identified studies, 13 (25–290 patients) met the inclusion criteria: six reported on dynamic changes in LUS findings (438 patients) and seven on the prognostic value of B-lines in HF (953 patients). In acute HF, B-line number changed within as few as 3 h of HF treatment. In acute HF, ≥15 B-lines on 28-zone LUS at discharge identified patients at a more than five-fold risk for HF readmission or death. Similarly, in ambulatory patients with chronic HF, ≥3 B-lines on five- or eight-zone LUS marked those at a nearly four-fold risk for 6-month HF hospitalization or death. Conclusions: Lung ultrasound findings change rapidly in response to HF therapy. This technique may represent a useful and non-invasive method to track dynamic changes in pulmonary congestion. Furthermore, residual congestion at the time of discharge in acute HF or in ambulatory patients with chronic HF may identify those at high risk for adverse events.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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